Productivity = Economic growth = no ‘S’porean’ jobs?


What’s the point of economic growth when jobs don’t go to Singaporeans?

I refer to the article “Productivity set to grow by 3% – the highest since 2010” (Straits Times, Nov 25).

It states that “As the economy recovers, productivity growth is set to reach about 3 per cent in 2017 – accounting for all, or almost all, the economic growth for this year, Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say said last night.”

As to “While total employment fell in the first nine months of the year, this affected mainly foreign workers. Local employment rose by about 9,000 in the same period, and full-year growth is likely to be higher than the 11,200 last year” – if the estimated number of new permanent residents  (PRs) and new citizens granted this year is similar to last year – the number in the first nine months of this year may be about 24,000 new PRs and 15,000 new citizens.
If just 40 per cent of the PRs are working – not many of the 9,000 local jobs growth may have gone to Singaporeans.

With regard to “This will be the highest productivity rise since 2010, and a marked improvement from the 1 per cent growth last year. Productivity growth ranged from -0.2 per cent to 0.9 per cent from 2012 to 2015” – even if productivity growth hits three per cent this year – it may need to be seen in the context that cumulative productivity growth for the last nine years or so, from 2008 to 2016 was only 4.8 per cent.

Leong Sze Hian

About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.